Projekt Izgubljene kočevarske vasi

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  • Project: The Lost Villages of the Gotschee Germans

    The Lost villages of the Gotschee Germans is an interactive multimedia project by Center for mladinsko kulturo Kočevje (Centre for The Culture of Youth in Kočevje). Answerable for a cultural heritage we researched, responsible for a local history we documented what otherwise would be probably gone with the wind. You are looking at the part of project, which handles 12 villages of the Gotschee Germans. It marks them with signs and puts them on a map. The villages are furthermore presented by movies at the middle of the 14th century until 1942, a German- speaking area of approximately 800 sq km in size was part of the Kočevsko region. During the Nazi occupation, Germans living in various European countries were massively migrated back to the German Reich by the Nazi government. After the Italians had occupied the Kočevsko region in 1941, a small German-speaking community of about 12,000 people had to migrate as well. The Gottscheer Germans were appointed the area along the Sava and the Sotla rivers in the Lower Štajersko region, from which the most Slovenians had been exiled. After WW2, the destiny of the Gottscheer Germans was similar to that of  other German-speaking communities in Slovenia. Those who did not leave with the German army at the end of the war and those few who remained in the Kočevsko region were exiled to Austria by the new Yugoslav government. Later, they dispersed and settled in various parts of Austria and Germany; many moved to the Unites States of America. 

    The exile of the Gottscheer Germans, post-war devastation and decay, and well-planned destruction of mostly sacral buildings in the 1950s had a fatal long-term effect on the area. More than one half of 176 villages in the Kočevsko region were destroyed: the area is now covered with woods. Only 28 out of 123 churches have been preserved, and out of approximately 400 chapels and religious signs about 40 can still be found. Many cemeteries were either levelled with the ground or the German tombstones were removed. Apart from the changes in the national structure, the economic and proprietorial situation of the area was profoundly changed. The Karstic soil and the densely wooded area of the Kočevski Rog with its deep abysses witnessed mass killings of several thousands of Slovenian soldiers opposing the National Front, who were returned to Slovenia after they had tried to emigrate. The extensive region was later closed to the public and a number of penal and work camps were set up. Very few remnants are left to this day to witness the 600-year- long presence of the German national community amidst the Slovenian territory. The plaques present the images of the once vibrant villages, countryside and its people, who shaped the Kočevsko region over the centuries. Author: dr. Mitja Ferenc


  • O projektu "Izgubljene kočevarske vasi"

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According to the Kočevje Registry Book, in 1574 they counted 8 estates (called huba), already divided into halfway farms. The later ones enabled pretty modest surviving. A soil around the village is shallow. But position of the village is rather favourable and sunny. 

During 19th century here were approx. 30 landlords. They supported themselves by animal husbandry, pasturing and growing fruits, mainly apples, pears and walnuts. Beekeeping was developed, too. There was scarce surplus of a harvest, so people from Onek needed to seek earnings by working in the woods, selling firewood and sawing as well as by hawking. 

The population number was nearly not oscillating during the Austrian censuses: 180-185. The Yugoslavian censuses recorded 166 villagers in 1921 and 139 ten years later. More than one person spoke Slovenian or had it as mother tongue only at the break of century (12) and in 1931 (9). 

A provisional school was in the village since 1846. A teaching went on at several private houses. In 1884 the Municipality bought house No. 3 and restored it into a one-class-only school. During school year 1908/9, the first three Slovenian pupils were enrolled. But until 1919 there was only a teaching in German. Slovenian department of school was organised in 1930. Pupils came also from Mačkovec.

In 1931 there were 37 houses in Onek. On 22. 8. 1932 many of them burnt down during one of the largest firebreaks recorded in the Kočevska region. After detailed examination of circumstances in the Nationality Registry (1936) 48 numbered houses were recorded, 19 of them empty and demolished. Since the spring of 1939 Germans in the Kočevska region were re-allowed to establish societies Kulturbund, so on 30. 4. 1939 one was established also in Onek. 

As the Kočevska region became part of The Royal Italy in 1941, German authorities called the Gottschee Germans to move to Posavje and Posotelje. 111 of them, out of 29 houses, decided for this. Almost all of them were farmers, some of them were workers, one was tailor and two were carpenters. The empty village was burnt down by the Italian Army someday in the summer of 1942. 

The Kočevje farming development plan, which was designed in 1947 and missed its aim, projected a ward in Onek with dairy farms in Mačkovec, Rajhenav and Cvišlerji. It introduced collective farming, fruit-growing and beekeeping, but pasture stockbreeding was at the top place. At that time, the emptied village saw immigrating of people from all parts of the country, but mainly from Prekmurje. In 1958 a school was re-established in Onek, only to work for seven years. After the wane of the socialistic farming project the large state stables in Onek were ruined, too. Which brought decreasing of population number, but in the last years it grows again. In 2012 there are 43 people living in Onek. 

At the west brim of village once a chapel of St Cosimo and Damien stood. After World War II there were still masses at it. In 1955 it was already de-equipped, serving as a hay warehouse. And later on it was moved out of the way.

Above the settlement there is a popular pilgrimage hill – a sightseeing point at the Reška walking path: Lovski vrh or Annaberg. The way to top is marked with green printing of a bear foot on the white surface. At the top there are several small cottages and a striking steel tower for telecommunications, which degrades all natural elements nearby. There are no permanent residents. 

Only crown spreading limes are bearing witness of the symbolic significance of spot. The archaeologists verified a prehistoric settlement there – an ancient fort from the Iron Age in several layers. St Anne’s Church was standing here approx. since 1500. It was pulled down in the middle of 20th century. Now it is moderately substituted with St Anne’s Chapel, raised in 2003. 

Onek formally directs a graveyard of post-war victims beneath Kren and its’ memorial chapel, crosses and other commemorative signs.


Predstavitev vasi v besedi in sliki

  • All
  • Borovec Pri Kočevki Reki
  • Czmk
  • GLAŽUTA, Karlshütten, Gloschhittn
  • INLAUF, Inlauf, Inlaf
  • Izgubljene Kočevarske Vasi
  • JELENDOL, Hirisgruben
  • KUKOVO, Rapljevo, Kukundorf, Kukndoarf
  • Mitja Ferenc
  • Morobitz
  • Mröbitz
  • Nemška Loka, Unterdeutschau, Agə
  • ONEK, Honegg, Wrneggə
  • RAJHENAV, Reichenau, Reichenagə
  • Rajndol, Reintal, Reintol
  • Tvkocevje
  • VERDRENG Podlesje, Verdreng, Vərdreng